The Cauldron of Fear

The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 2, Part 2

When we left our heroes, they were sitting down to a much-anticipated meal with Banedon’s former mentor, Chiban.

When the fare arrives, it is trout (great), potatoes (excellent), wine (even better) and……hakeroot.



I remember my manners, ask for more potatoes, discreetly push the ‘hakeroot’ to one side, and carry on.

Chiban essentially gives us the same exposition as Gwynian did on our previous attempt, filling Banedon and I in on the history of the Tahou Cauldron, and taking responsibility for arranging an appointment with the President and Senate.

Chiban makes the expected noises about being unable to accompany us personally, and our path then takes us to the same paragraph where we are granted an audience.

For reasons that aren’t really explained (and by ‘aren’t really, I mean ‘not at all’), Banedon can’t come with me, either to the Senate or into the Cauldron.  I know this separation is for structure related reasons, but the book should have given a clearer reason for Lone Wolf having to now go it alone.


I appear before the Senate, and they have their usual debate about defiance vs appeasement.

The President casts his deciding vote and…

My R10 result of 4 means that my expedition is approved, but I am going to expose myself to Senator Chil’s betrayal.  I am once more frustrated that my advance knowledge does not give me any ability to take appropriate precautions.

Aside : I drop a Meal and take a Blanket from Senator Chil’s warehouse, in the hope that it might assist after I get dropped into the icy water.

The rope is, inevitably, cut and I fall melodramatically into the abyss.  However, this time I have the Discipline of Nexus to protect me, making an instadeath impossible on this R10 check.

A good thing too, because my R10 of 0 (!) would have meant death without my Nexus skill.  This time, though, the +4 given by Nexus means that I live, but it seems I will have to discard items from my Backpack

Aside : Not that I’m complaining, but you would think items like my Chainmail Waistcoat and Shield would have caused me more difficulties than, you know, a Vial of Gold Dust.



My random check of which half of Backpack Items I lose means that I wave a wistful goodbye to my Rope, Lantern, Laumspur Potion, and, worst of all, my Flask of Boza!



Having shed my surplus items, I have to attempt another R10 check, where my Nexus skill means that I now have a 90% chance of surviving.

You know where this is going, don’t you?




My second consecutive R10 result of 0 means that I, once again, die an icy death.



If you have Nexus, as I did, the chance of that death happening were 0.4 x 0.1 = 4%.


Since this entry was fairly brief, I may try and do another this evening, since my sister-in-law is coming over, and I’m sure that she and my wife will probably watch a movie that…..well, let’s just say that I’m sure THEY’LL like it….

As a alternative conversation starter, I’ll just mention that I was having a great friendly debate on Twitter about top 10 favourite directors of all time.  My list :

  1. David Lean.
  2. Alfred Hitchcock.
  3. Akira Kurosawa
  4. Steven Spielberg.
  5. Stanley Kubrick.
  6. Martin Scorsese
  7. Federico Fellini
  8. Michael Curtiz
  9. Francis Coppola
  10. Billy Wilder.

Have at it in comments!

Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 42

Current Stats : CS : 34/34, E : 0/31

Weapons : Sword, Dagger

Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS),

Backpack : Vial of Gold Dust, Lantern, Altar Cloth, Sacks of Silver (1),

Special Items : 1. Sommerswerd 2. Platinum Amulet, 3. Invitation 4. Shield (+2 CS),           5. Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), 6. Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) 7. Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, 8. EMPTY 9. Quiver (6 arrows), 10. Fireseeds (6), 11. EMPTY 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.

Extra Special Item : Receipt

Kai Monastery storage :

  • Backpack Items : Sack of Silver
  • Special Items : Mao of Tekaro, Diamonds (2), Boat Ticket, Power Key, Copper Key, Ornate Silver Key, Jewelled Mace, Dagger of Vashna, Brass Whistle. Quiver (4 arrows), Pass, Vial of Clear Liquid, Crystal Star Pendant

Magnakai Rank : Principalin

Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger, Spear, Quarterstaff), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination, Invisibility, Nexus

Lore-Circles : Fire (+1 CS, +2 E), Solaris (+1 CS, +3 E)

Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS), Mindshield, Weaponskill (+2 CS in Short Sword)

Paragraph : 73

8 thoughts on “The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 2, Part 2

    1. Even so, you have to take a very specific route when busting out of prison to acquire the Vial of Blue Pills.

      Also, I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen any of David Lean’s films. I should probably rectify this.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. True, although another reason for busting out is that it makes the book longer and more interesting, as well as SPOILER ALERT:

        allowing you to make a key contact that could prove helpful in case the Senate doesn’t vote in your favor this time.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. @justsomeguy

        Let me just say that if you only know Alec Guinness from Star Wars, you must run, not walk, and see David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai.

        That is all.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. And yeah, David Lean made many of the most classic and epic films of all time. Hard to go wrong putting him at number one. The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, A Passage to India, Brief Encounter, etc.

    The most egregious exemption from your list in my opinion is Ridley Scott. There are sooo many good directors though, it’s hard to narrow it down to just ten.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My first thought for favorite director is Quentin Tarantino. He got some blowback for all the copycats that followed his breakout, but when you compare his movies to those ripoffs, they end up looking even better. Also, Ivan Reitman, who early on had a great three-film run of Meatballs, Stripes, and the first movie I ever remember loving, Ghostbusters. Plus the movie Dave, a Kevin Kline charmer where the soulless, awful president is replaced by a lookalike with integrity. It sounds more relevant now than ever, and not just for America.

    Will your wife and sister-in-law be watching a Ryan Gosling movie? Maybe with the just-as-meme-worthy Emma Stone? It’s almost unfair how much physical attractiveness, charm, and chemistry they bring to their movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Going from Scrubs been depressed and alone in a crowd to Jack Nicholson and Anger blowing their tops this was very Manic-Depressive episode (or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder as this rapid change type is now called 😉 ). But yeah, I’d have been quite upset at losing the Boza as well.

    It should be pointed out that we don’t know if Hakeroot was what gave you the 3 EP boost, not that you needed it with your “avoid anything that might try to hit me” policy (YES! I know that its a sensible practical policy that most of us follow every day anyway, but its not exactly doing anything to keep you alive is it?). Regarding Banedon, Chiban sent a request for an audiance for “you”, he did not get what he asked for. I always just assumed that it was invited persons only, no guests rule for going to the Senate. But yeah, could have been stated outright.

    Honestly, I think I was usually dishonest regarding the Senate vote (partly for minor SPOILER), I’d forgotten how much more deadly the legal route was 😮 Probably just another example of Joe Dever’s rabid anti-establishment rantings.

    And then you drowned. 😦 Again 😦 Second Manly Macho Sympathethic Pat on the Back of this book. Who’d have thought that with all the dangers, traps and adversaries you’ve overcome its a 500 foot drop into a freezing lake that has proven the most dangerous, tis a stranger world we live in my friend.

    And regretably I don’t pay anywhere the amount of attention I should to the names of directors (partly because I’ve enough trouble remembering any names anyway, but largely because a good director will make different types of movies whereas I’m more attracted to certain types of movies, so the director’s name may mean that its a well directed movie but not that its a movie I’d want to see). As such I’m particularly useless on such lists 😦

    Hope that he delay in the next post had more to do with you’re enjoying your time and less to do with you being handed various chores. Roll on next installment and this time put those bag’s of Silver into safekeeping, its KILLING the Scottish side of my soul every time you dump one. ;'(

    Liked by 1 person

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